Because a pandemic is not a common occurrence there are no existing international standards for creating plans, approaches and solutions that ensure the safety of customers, associates and personnel as they return to work. Thus we turn to those that do exist, looking for direction.
International standard ISO-26262, covering automotive functional safety, and its fellow industry-specific standards for functional safety are all largely derived from generic functional safety standard IEC 61508. As a result they share a common core consisting of:
- Conducting a Hazard Analysis and Risk Assessment (HARA)
- Generation of Safety Goals for the required solution
- Elicitation of Safety Requirements
- Design of a safety solution to delivery these requirements and ensure that the Safety Goals are never violated.
- Evaluation of the relative success of several possible solutions in meeting the requirements when compared to each other and other alternatives.
- Verification that the final chosen solution meets its intended requirements.
- Validation to ensure that situation into which the final chosen solution is delivered is covered completely and successfully addressed by the solution.
- Assessing the solution to confirm that it delivers the intended safety.
We’ve elected to use the automotive standard because it’s the most detailed and comprehensive of the set, has successfully generated the most successful solutions because of the size of the automotive business, and has the most experience behind it, with tens of millions of vehicles developed under it and safely travelling the roads.
ISO-26262 also features one additional important step that the others do not:
- Auditing the solution to confirm that the process of creating it was executed correctly.
All of these steps, as captured within ISO-26262, are critical to the delivery of safe COVID-19 Back-to-Work plans, approaches, and solutions.